A Study of Revelation - Part One
Interesting notes and then we start at the beginning
The Last Trumpet
1Thes 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Cor 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
To understand the Word of God we must read more than just one isolated verse or chapter or epistle, we must STUDY the whole of the scripture.
So in the first epistle to the Thessalonians we read that at the sound of the trump, or trumpet the Christians will be raptured to meet the Lord in the air. We will be taken out of the world. Now in the first epistle to the Corinthians Paul identifies WHICH trumpet that sounds when we will be taken away.
We will be taken away at the sound of the LAST TRUMPET.
Now we know Paul is speaking of the VERY end times when "he that letteth" (Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.
II Th 2:7-8 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Revelations chapters 8 through 11 tell of the SEVEN TRUMPETS that are to sound. At the sound of the SEVENTH, the LAST trumpet we will be taken away. (Rev 11:15-19)
Now we can read what God's children which are alive and remain will witness.
Rev. chapters 1-3 an angel of the Lord gives a message to John to tell the seven churches in seven different cities.
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
The Bible speaks of the church in Ephesus and Laodicea, but the other five churches are those evidently started by Paul, which the Holy Spirit decided not to keep written accounts of
Paul wrote a letter to the Laodiceans but it did not survive as part of scripture.
Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
There is no record of an epistle to the church in Laodicea.
Ephesus could be called the mother church of Asia because it was at Ephesus that he spend much time,(two years) teaching, discussing, and reasoning in the school of one Tyrannus. (Acts 19:9) "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19:10)
Rev 2:1-7 Unto the angel (messenger-pastor)of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
This church has "sound doctrine" which is good, but she has "left her first love". She has lost the devotion that she once had for the Lord. The Bride is growing "ho-hum" toward her Groom. She is still faithful to her Groom but after a while the "honeymoon is over" and she settles down to "routine". This goes to show you that Sound Doctrine is not the ONLY requirement of a Christian. A church (body of believers) losing their devotion to Christ has their candlestick removed. They are no longer a "church of Christ".
The deeds of the Nicolaitans may be the work of Nicolas. He was a Gentile Jewish convert.
Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Rev 2:8-11 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Ten days-an indefinite period of time. Translated ten and eighteen in the N.T. All churches that suffer persecution are the churches of Symrna. This church has some in it that say they are Jews, (children of God-false Christians). This is blasphemy to God. (railing-speaking evil of God)
Rev 2:12-17 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes was infiltrating the church at Ephesus and the church hated it. It had not yet taken hold. In the church of Pergamos it had taken hold and the doctrine of Balaam was also being practiced. This church is in bad shape.
Balaam caused Israel to sin by intermarrying with the Moabites and eating food offered to their idols.
Num 25:1-2 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
This is what the Lord commanded concerning meat offered to idols.
Acts 15:27-29 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Read what the apostle Paul says about meat offered to idols in 1 Cor chapter 8.
Now let us read what Paul say about this in 1 Cor 10:19-33
The sum of the matter of eating meat offered to idols is this. God holds it against us if it causes others to stubble. If it weakens the faith of some and causes some to think that sinning may be justified.
Rev 2:18-29 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The Lord has much the same kind words that He had for the church at Ephesus but the church is even worst than the church at Pergamos. Not only is idol food eaten but fornication is practiced by some in this church, as Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab introduced to Israel
The Lord calls them to repentance and gives them space (time) to do so. Those that do not repent of their evil deeds are killed. The Lord won't put up with this after He gives that a certain time to repent. He kills them and takes them home. Some say this is the time of the Dark Ages when the Roman Church killed millions of Christians but a few, a remnant, those who did not do these things were spared this persecution. He told them, " But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden."
They didn't receive the burden of this particular persecution.
Rev 3:1-6 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Sardis has a name that she lives but she really is dead. Although there are no heathen practices mentioned, she is practicing a dead faith.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
This church is to strengthen her lamp as it is about to burn out. She is running out of oil. There are some things that are good in her and she is to strengthen them. There are even some that are already strengthened. They are into good works and show proof of their salvation. They have not defiled their garments even in this church.
We are not saved by a dead or complacent, self-satisfied, self-contended, self-pleased, at ease, faith but by a consuming, unrestrained, burdensome, difficult, severe, hard, laborious faith.
How can we be saved with a complacent faith and being at ease when we are to endure? What is there to endure with a faith that is at ease?
Rev 3:7-13 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Christ has no rebuke for this church at all. For a thousand years or more the Bible was a forbidden book. The CHURCH consisted of only a remnant of true believers and these were in hiding much of the time. But the time came when the Lord set before this church an OPEN DOOR. This started sometimes in the 1500's. Tynedale and others printing and smuggling the Bible into countries, and then came the Reformation. God is no respecter of churches that preach true doctrine as according to the light received by the Spirit.
Many os those that say they are the only chosen (Jews-i.e. Roman Catholics) are to come to believe the true gospel. They will come and worship in these churches that were started when God open the door for His Gospel. The so-called Protestant churches have preached the gospel of Christ through her missionaries for hundreds of years now. The freedom of Christianity was opened and ONLY GOD can close it, not governments. However,God will allow a government to close it FOR HIM.
Rev 3:14-22 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This church is the church today. It teaches a watered down gospel. It is neither completely false (cold) of completely true (hot) it is watered down (lukewarm) It makes Christ sick, and by my preaching you know it makes me sick too.
It is is POOR shape. It is BLIND and I tell people that but they don't believe me. It is NAKED and it should be ashamed, but it isn't. It is PROUD. People should be ashamed to be seen there, but even some in this family have no shame.
What do these churches need? They have EVERYTHING. They have fine buildings and fine recreation centers. The pastors have fine housing, cars and salaries and even fine retirement benefits. What else do they need?
They need anointment (rub in) their eyes with eyesalve( a poultice-a treatment-a dressing) so that they can see. Instead of money they need a testing of their faith. A gold tried in the fire. Could be they need to suffer a purifying catastrophe.
A lukewarm church or person does not become very disturbed at hearing worldly teaching, and is not active in the defense of the truth. This spirit of indifference is the worst thing that can happen to a church.
This is the ONLY church that Christ says he is AT THE DOOR . "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock" Christ is not in that church. The Lord says ". As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten". He still loves them, but there're gonna get it. Do we want our loved ones to get it with 'em?
The Philadelphian church is slowly decreasing while the Laodicean church is increasing at an alarming rate.